Fraser Highway widening has stalled

Much like Linus waiting every Halloween for the Great Pumpkin to descend to the pumpkin patch, Surrey and Langley commuters live through the annual tease that has been the widening of Fraser Highway.

It was in 2004 when Surrey-Tynehead MLA. Dave Hayer published with much fanfare a news release titled Transportation Infrastructure Work in Surrey Full Steam Ahead.

In part, the release stated: “Constituents are pleased with the progress the B.C. government is making in improving traffic flow in Surrey.”

The Surrey-Tynehead MLA thanked Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Kevin Falcon for his work as transportation minister in securing funds for the “long overdue” project to widen the Fraser Highway east and west of 160 Street.

“The Surrey Chamber of Commerce, my constituents and I eagerly await an announcement to four-lane more of this route from 168th Street to Langley,” Hayer said.

Eager indeed!  It’s been seven years Dave. We’re still waiting.

The City of Surrey sign announcing the construction of the north side of the Serpentine River bridge stands tauntingly beside a bridge to nowhere completed last summer.

There’s no sign announcing whether further work has even been tendered, much less teasing us with yet another projected completion date.

Meanwhile, Surrey and Langley residents continue to fill the trough of TransLink through gas taxes and levies, and may soon have the added indignity of an additional carbon levy for Lower Mainland residents.

This is absurd. It’s bad enough municipal and provincial planners did not have the foresight and common sense to design an interchange at the intersection of two provincial highways.

They can hardly complete a road widening.  Meanwhile, residents have sat through what is approaching a decade of daily congestion and numerous accidents at this intersection.

Bear in mind this widened goat path will be wholly insufficient when paupered commuters desperately search for route alternatives to the daily blood donation in the guise of bridge tolls.

When will constituents say enough? Perhaps we should just continue to hope things will improve as we pay our municipal taxes in the coming weeks, or fill up at $1.40 a litre, or cast ballots at our municipal elections this November, or idle in our vehicles beside the weed-lined mounds of top loaded soil lining the Fraser parking lot, or…heck, even Linus wasn’t this naive.

Paul Sandhu

Surrey

Surrey North Delta Leader

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